Evergreen Web Content: What It Is, and How to Win
One of the questions that we hear a ton from webmasters at our SEO meetup group is about evergreen content and where it should live within their site’s architecture.
Time and again I am surprised by the misconceptions surrounding the topic of evergreen content, so here I’d like to look at whatever evergreen content is, what it isn’t, and how should think about incorporating your evergreen content into your site’s existing structure.
Evergreen Content Defined:
Evergreen content is content on topics that are perpetually relevant.
Examples of Evergreen Content Topics
- 10 ways to skin a cat
- A visual history of bacon
- How to tie a knot that doesn’t suck
- Why North Korea is the most insane place ever
- The best IPAs in every state
Examples of Topics that Aren’t Evergreen
- Vote for us for Best Company, 2013
- Press Release: We were voted best company!
- SEO ranking factors, 2007
- We’re having an event; come to it!
- Traffic accident statistics, 2011
Where Should Evergreen Content Live on My Site?
Now that we understand that types of topics which are evergreen and those which are not, we can look at effective ways of incorporating evergreen content on your site.
The reason why this is such a complicated subject for small business owners who are looking to gain traffic and business via organic search is because usually, they have failed to ever answer this simply question:
“What is the purpose of my website?”
Most small business owners would answer this question like this:
“The purpose of my website is to make me money.”
WRONG. Your potential customers don’t care about you making money. They don’t care about the awards you’ve won. They don’t care how impressive your bio is.
Your potential customers care about the problem they are trying to solve. If your website doesn’t help them solve their problem, it is useless to them.
A better answer to this question is:
“The purpose of my website is to provide articles, tools, forms, and advice to people who are facing divorce.”
This type of answer will inform not only what types of evergreen content you create, but also where it should live on your site.
But I Don’t Have Room in My Main Menu for Evergreen Content!
No sh!t! That’s because your main menu is 100% about you and 0% about the needs of your potential customers:
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have this information on your site, but goodness gracious, do you need to use up the entire main navigation menu just to talk about how awesome you are? How about instead you give your potential customers answers to their questions, and prove how awesome you are.
Check out this example from Rosen.com (one of the best small law firm websites you’ll ever see). Rosen only uses one menu item to tell his potential customers how awesome his firm is. He uses the rest to serve up his evergreen content; the content that solves his potential customer’s problems:
Then, where most small businesses would stick some useless scrolling image slider with a bunch of pointless stock photos, Rosen continues solving his potential customer’s problems by serving up more great evergreen content:
Can I Post Evergreen Content on My Blog?
The most common misconception that I hear is that evergreen content cannot or should not live on your site’s blog. This is rubbish.
For search engine bots, a URL is a URL. Whether your evergreen content lives on your blog or in another section of your site matters not. What does matter is how the content is presented to your potential customers, and how it is linked to throughout the site.
As long as you make your important evergreen content easily accessible both to humans and to the search engines, and ensure that it serves the purpose of your site, it doesn’t matter whether you house it on your blog or elsewhere on the site.
Evergreen content is content on topics that are perpetually relevant. If the purpose of your site is to help your potential customers solve their problems, then developing evergreen content topics, and linking to it intuitively within your site, will be easy. If you make your site about you, you will struggle to incorporate evergreen content into it’s hierarchy.